Alexandra Pirici: Co-natural
February 6 – April 15 2018
Conceived especially for the New Museum’s South Galleries, Alexandra Pirici’s Co-natural (2018), was an unfolding action with live performers and a holographic image. The work considered the increasing fragmentation of presence and self, enabled by digital technologies, financialization, and, more broadly, by modernity’s division of nature from culture, body from mind or spirit, and individual from collective. Co-natural attempted to enact a dispersion of bodily presence, commenting on contemporary processes of abstraction that separate sign from substance and image from material support. Yet the work also mined this fragmentation for its potential to create a different idea of the self, one distributed across time, space, bodies, history, and memory.
The work was a continuation of Pirici’s preceding interrogations of the collective body through choreography that links different temporal and spatial events in real time. By exploring memorials and monuments; artworks and objects in museum collections, lost, or stored in freeports; as well as abstractions of the living subject into quantifiable, monetizable data—through physical bodies, voice, and ghostly images—the work resituated them in new relations and entanglements. Pirici contextualized the hologram, a fragment of a “whole,” through live action; the hologram becoming a mediator of presence, revealing the ways in which images and living bodies influence each other. Co-natural proposed a single, modular organism made of both living and digital matter that gradually assembled and dispersed again over the course of each day of the exhibition.
The exhibition was curated by Helga Christoffersen, Associate Curator, and was on view in the New Museum’s recently inaugurated South Galleries, a space designated for premiering new productions at the Museum. The South Galleries were designed to preserve the character of the building’s loft spaces, where many artists historically worked and exhibited.
Co-natural was performed by Juli Brandano, Farid Fairuz, Paula Gherghe, Miguel Angel Guzmán, Jordan Isadore, and Jennifer Tchiakpe.
Light, set, and holographic display design: Andrei Dinu
Holographic Pepper’s Ghost display: Archi3D LIMITED
Director of photography: Barbu Balasoiu